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Unemployment falls, so Vermont cuts jobless benefits

Unemployment is now low enough in Vermont that it must cut 13 weeks off its unemployment benefits.

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People fill the aisles at a job fair in Montpelier, Vt., in May. The state's unemployment rate in September fell below 6 percent, which means Vermont must trim 13 weeks from the unemployment benefits it offers.

Toby Talbot/AP/File

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Vermont's unemployment rate was so low in September, it triggered a decrease in federal subsidies for jobless people.

Thirteen weeks of so-called "Tier 3" benefits are being eliminated beginning later this month because Vermont's rate for that month dropped to 5.8 percent — below the 6 percent threshold under federal law.

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Tracy Phillips, director of unemployment insurance and wages for the state Department of Labor, tells the Burlington Free Press that after the week ending Nov. 13, the state is no longer authorized to pay the Tier 3 benefits.